European Trip Equipment Wish-list (with your help)

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by rossmadden, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. rossmadden macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2011
    Swansea, UK
    Hi everyone.

    In a sort of last minute surprise, my brother in law has invited me on trip with him and his friends across northern Europe; Denmark, Norway, Sweden and east Germany. Starting from South Wales and will be passing through north east France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Not only did the trip sound amazing, but I was told to get creative and film/photograph it too.

    Time is short, We're going for two weeks in October. Budget isn't great but we'll borrow somethings (we all know a guy who knows a guy etc) and see what we can manage.

    So, I want to document the whole trip and get lots of various footage and then edit it when we get home. I have never edited or done any filming, but I'll try and learn the basics before I go. I think this trip will give PLENTY of videos to use and learn with.

    This is what I have in mind so far;

    - I'll be using my Canon 700D as my main camera. It shoots full HD and I'll do my best to learn how to manually focus with my lens. From what I've read the on board stereo mics are good for what they are but obviously not as good as an external mic. I think the mic most people mention is the Rode(?) that fits into the camera's hot shoe.

    - I'd love to use Go Pros and I'm pretty sure we'll be able to borrow some or cameras similar. I'm thinking of sticking them to the side of the VW Transporter that we're using for some cool shots. Maybe on the front bumper, the bonnet facing backwards. On the dashboard facing backwards and just generally in different places in the van as a sort of fly on the wall camera. Additionally we're planning on canoe in the fiords, rafting and downhill biking and trying out a few things (possibly visiting Lillehammer, the site of the 1994 Winter Olympics and using the bobsleigh run) so these cameras would be ideal to put in these scenarios. Again, I'm thinking mounted on us, on the bikes, canoes etc.

    - My brother in law would like a flip out HD camera what we can all do blog messages too. I'm sure we could either do this with go pros, I could do it with my 700D with articulated screen or we could all use our iPhones (4s and 5 which all have 720p filming from the front camera). What would you think on these.

    I'm going to take my Macbook Pro just so I can copy the data from the SD cards/phones and put it all onto an external HD (all by USB 2.0 woohooo).

    So I invite all you talented people, who make livings and great pieces of work, to give me cool ideas (remember the budget) and what you'd use and take. What am I missing from the list?

    Hopefully my friends and myself can help build something cool and show it off to you all toward the end of October.

    If you want more info such as where we're heading etc just ask :)

    Thanks in advance,
  2. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    Sounds like a good plan to me.

    I've been traveling around the UK a lot lately, and shot some fun stuff with my Nikon D7000 and three GoPros. I did a time-lapse of a canal trip on a narrowboat, going through the locks and such, for example. I love the new GoPro Hero3 Black, as you have complete control via Android or iPhone, and you can see what you're shooting from the phone via built-in wifi, instead of having to use the little screen attachments.

    You said you've never done anything like this before, but then again, you indicated an interest in learning, so... if you're technically inclined or just really into it, you can get a separate recorder for sound, such as a Tascam DR-05/40/100. (I have the DR-100 myself, but overkill for what you'll be doing.) Then don't worry about sound, and just shoot and sync it up later. (Clap your hands for a sync reference... poor man's slate, haha.)

    Honestly, if it's just for fun, the sound quality won't be an issue... but sound is 50% of filmmaking (unless you're making silent films) and getting good sound will jump the production value way up. GoPro sound is pretty distinct (as in lousy) and mixing the different sources will sound really obvious, whereas getting all sound in one device will make the video cuts blend so much nicer, despite the different levels of quality from Canon, GoPro and iPhones.

    Above all, don't forget to have a good time!
  3. rossmadden thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2011
    Swansea, UK
    Thanks for replying!

    I don't really think sound will be too much of an importance. It was more along the lines of picking everyones voices up even if I'm a few meters away, but I'm sure it'll be fine with onboard mics. Though the fact it'll be noticeable is a bit off putting. It's just difficult to continuously mic-up everyone. If it was a 100% video trip where we were all serious about making an amazing film then maybe we could have done something.

    I'd love to use go pros. Especially for the feature you mentioned, that I could control them using my iPhone. With the ones you used, what size memory cards did you use? I'm looking more at the Go Pro 2, as long as it shoots 1080p then I'll be happy. I know the sound quality you mention, it's quite tinny or echoey to my ear. But the quality of the video outweighs the sound I think.

    In regards to your narrowboat trip, did you place the cameras in certain places for shots. Not sure what the tech term for these kind of shots but I'll call them filler shots. I.E I'll use the shot of the front wheel as we drive a long a certain road as an opener, or from the roof to show that we've moved between places. Does this sound about right?
  4. daybreak macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    Dont get bogged in your brain what you will do and what people want. As your expertise is limited just shoot how you see it and later you can sit down and edit your material. Just make sure you shoot plenty.
    Have Fun.:)
  5. rossmadden thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2011
    Swansea, UK
    That is probably what I'll do anyway. Maybe I'm looking for more shot ideas. I haven't got to get bogged down by them but it's too cool an opportunity.

    And I'll make sure I have maximum fun. I can't wait.
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Just to things:

    1) lern how to ext BEFORE you lleave. DOn't bother lerning how to use editing software, learn how to cut the footage. Learn what kinds of shots an editor will need to tell a story. You need to know about long shots and cut aways and what not just so that you have the right kinds of footage. So get a book, even a 50 years old book from the film era and read up an editing, but skip the "how to use the software" type books. Also don't forgetall those little rules about continuity of motion and so on. (always shooting from the same side if you want to cut the shots together. One beginner level book is enough

    2) sound. Good audio is hard. Bring a furry "sound blimp" for the mic and GOOD mice. (I'm looking for a good lav mic right now, so don't ask me what to buy.) Don't skimp on the audio. poor sound makes even great photography seem beginnerish.

    Lastly, start shooting NOW. make "travel" videos near your home. Pretend to be a tourist and shoot a bunch. Figure it out BEFORE you leave.
  7. yoak macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    Try to remember to shoot "cutaways" like close ups to make your edit look and flow better.
    General rule of thumb is to let cars travel screen left to right (same way we read in the west) as people unconsciously associate that with going away and the other way as coming home.
    (This is not always possible if you want the best background)
    I like to have a bit of the car in shot when using gopro, specially like a frontwheel
    Although I'm biased, I would recommend spending more time in Norway than Sweden, specially if you are interested in nature
  8. redsnapper macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2009
    I love making these kind of videos. You don't need too much gear, a good camera, tripod and mic are essential.

    Don't overshoot cutaways, Frame a shot, hold it, count to ten, cut.
    Try and film lots of interviews with people, get them to explain where you are and what you are all doing / what they think about it all. Really useful to help edit a story later.
    Sound is important, try and get your mic as close to people as possible. A cheap (and okish) option is to use an iphone headphone mic and the voice memo app to record audio. Better than nothing and very portable.
    Filming place name signs can be helpful in the edit. You don't need to use them but it helps to remind you of where you were and what the odd name might be.
    As previous posters have suggested get out and film drive by shots of the van.
    Have fun!
  9. yoak macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    I agree with previous poster. It's important to hold your shots long enough

    It's also a good idea to try to shoot "stock shots" like establishing shots of places you visit.
    Try to make them 10 seconds long.

    Filming transitions from night to day and day to night is also a good idea.
    Like timelaps
    Don't need to do Tios every day of course.
  10. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    I did this sort of thing a few summers ago and it was a good nice little video to look back on.

    Ofcourse I have approved a lot since then and some of the parts make me cringe a little but it is a great memento.

    My tips would really be to have an idea of what you are going to do in the edit before you start shooting. Half the things I attempted wouldn't have worked if I didn't have the foresight to do certain things whilst shooting.

    Also as you can probably hear I didn't use that much on camera sound at all and unless you plan on doing interviews I wouldn't bother with a video mic as they are quite cumbersome and fiddly.

    What lenses do you have and have you thought about getting a small LCD viewfinder to aid your composition and focusing especially in daylight?

    Have you considered ND filters to get shallow depth of field even on bright sunny days?

    Have you got a basic knowledge of all the settings on your camera and how they differ when it comes to shooting video versus stills? (180˙ shutter comes to mind!)

    Have you got a basic knowledge of video requirements in terms of shooting and editing for example in a parade or event it maybe very easy to stand in one position and record a 50 minute clip but that won't edit very well especially when compared to 10 x 5 minute clips from other positions.

    Also think about yourself! Do you want to sit for hours on end editing hours and hours of footage? When shooting, be conservative, think is this good enough to get in my film.

    To give an example my film was probably too conservative. I probably used 85% of all the shots that I took (mostly because I asked myself would I want this in the video) and about 20% of the total footage running time.

    So from this experience, unless it's something really important, in the future I have tended to not bother with long clips of the same thing and instead focused on getting different angles to give me more creative options in the edit.

    Unfortunately I get a bit too busy with actual video work now to have time to mess about all summer!

    Have fun and good luck with your trip!
  11. palmharbor macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2007
    too much

    Let me suggest from personal just two weeks, you are trying too much...much of your time will be spent going from one country to another and you will see much of the countries out of the window of a car or train or bus.
    I would pick maybe two places and that's it.
    Amsterdam Holland is a great place...most people speak English...great entertainment...the women are the best looking in all of Europe, any place in France would be the other place to go...Normandy is very good, much to see and experience...Paris is good but its best if you have a woman to share it with...Provence in the South is very good.Nothing in Belgium...Denmark and Sweden is too far to go, expensive to get there and expensive to eat, sleep etc...go when you have two months to spend in Europe....Berlin in Germany is great place to go...lots of night life...things to see. Nothing going on in one in Europe goes there for a Holiday. I would pack using everything small, no big cameras with a big will look silly and wish you left it at home.
  12. rossmadden thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2011
    Swansea, UK
    Well Norway is where we're heading (I mentioned this). So at least 5 from Europe will be going there. Yes we'll be in the van a lot, but that doesn't mean there won't be things to film.

    I'll have plenty of space to carry any gear I'll take and don't need. I don't have much as it is anyway. This isn't a pro shoot. This is someone, me, who wants to make use of this amazing opportunity to maybe create a cool film or series of films. I might only make it for me who knows, but this is what I want to do.

    Everyone else, AceArchie, Yoak, Redsnapper, Daybreak and Chris, thank you very much for you input and ideas and I'll take them all on board. This is exactly what I was looking for.

    I was thinking of time-lapses, I've done a few before so they could be useful.

    Doing shots of the van from left to right makes sense and I'll be sure to do them too.

    Maybe a mic connected to my DSLR won't be such a bad idea for interviews. Quick question, would I then have sync the audio, or will it sync straight away whilst filming?

    I will get out an practice. Acearchie, you've made a great point about learning shutter speed etc whilst filming. This is something to learn, but I picked up Manual photo mode quite quickly so I'm sure it'll make sense. I love the video by the way. What ever you used for the fire is so cool.

    Thanks for all your replies again.


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